Lebanon and the Danger of War and Hatred

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There is a danger, being at war for so terribly long. It’s so easy to hate them “all” to incorrectly say they are “all” terrorists. They aren’t. It’s so easy to look at the world in black and white (it isn’t). Or that they are ALWAYS wrong (they aren’t) and we are ALWAYS right (we aren’t).

But we are lucky…luckier than most. Why? Because we have the Torah, a reminder from God that all humans are flawed, all humans need to improve. All humans must try to be kind, try to share, try to help.

It is right. OMG, it is right that Israel reaches out to help Lebanon. No, OMG, no, not by sending in our sons and daughters. Why? Don’t they deserve to be helped? Yes, Lebanon deserves our help. But, as the mother of first responders and medics, I will tell you what they tell me, “Ima, the first rule is make sure you can help safely.” Yes, that’s right – we can only send in our precious, precious sons and daughters if they will be safe…and we know in Lebanon, they won’t be. So no, I’m sorry, we can’t send in our babies. No, sorry, I’m being emotional, they aren’t babies…but never mind, they remain, all their lives OUR babies, so no, we can’t send them IN…

But we can help – we can send THINGS in.

If, as the Palestinians have done in the past, they choose to destroy that we would give, it does not negate our good deed. It would only emphasize their stupidity, their hatred. But never mind. I am hopeful, the Lebanese will take our assistance – they need it. Even after the explosion, their people are suffering, in danger, hurt.

And they can send us their wounded. To our hospitals, to our doctors and nurses, the most generous, dedicated, hard-working people. Really. But no, I’m serious.

During a recent medical procedure, the technician was lining up…well, stuff…and had to give me several shots. The nurse came to my side, took my hand, and talked me through it. Comforting, counting, assuring me it was almost over and then proudly squeezing my hand as a mother would to a child when it was done. Dedicated, kind, hard-working, generous people.

So Lebanon, send us your injured and we will care for them.

No, we won’t go through the rubble to try to rescue any who are trapped as we have in Kenya, Haiti, Indonesia and more. We won’t find and help you identify the dead, as we did after the tsunami. Always, there is danger and still we go.

But there’s a very real chance we will do more for you than any of your Arab brothers and most of the world. And ultimately, we will do that because that is who we are and what we are…and because, even if we are completely secular, it is what our Torah commands of us.

Wishing the people of Beirut refuah shlayma – a speedy and quick recovery.
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